Infidel – R – 1 hr 40 min
NO SPOILERS Movie Review
Watched in theater Saturday September 19, 2020
Regal Cinebarre Movieland – Salem, Oregon
#34 new movie seen in theater in 2020
Doug Rawlins (Jim Caviezel) is a blogger with a friend who gets scrutinized for being a Muslim extremist. Rawlins, disappointed with his friend and the disappearance of his friend’s daughter travels to Cairo for an interview at a conference and makes a bold, incendiary religious statement. Shortly thereafter, he’s captured, jailed and his wife flies to the country in a desperate attempt to free him.
Rawlins just might be one of the dumbest action characters I’ve seen in awhile. His decision making process is bizarre and often implausible. Does he stand by his convictions against all logic? Even his wife watching him on TV after he makes a bold statement about Jesus realizes this is only going to end badly. Then, once Rawlins is captured, his decisions seem to worsen. He almost gets his kneecaps drilled out because he doesn’t want to give up his blogging password (yes, lol, serious!). I mean, if they want to blog as you in Iran, give up the password. Post away! Doug takes his blogging seriously. No catfishing in his house.
Doug’s wife Elizabeth, played by Claudia Karvan, has a bit of Nicolas Cage overacting in her performance. She sure messes with her hair a lot, too. Yeah, I know it’s part of the culture over there, but Elizabeth can’t decide if she’s going for the traditional headwear that females use, a baseball cap or, in a moment of ultimate defiance, just throwing her headwear to the ground.
This film is hailed as “based on true events” and best we can tell this (might?) refer to American citizens being falsely imprisoned in the Middle East, not Doug or Elizabeth’s characters. That is a very loose interpretation of the statement. Usually when we see that, we’re thinking what happens to the characters, that these people specifically, are the ones that the true events are patterned after. Not the case here.
The one noteworthy thing that is pointed out in our just left the theater video below is that the coronavirus is specifically mentioned. This is the first time that any new film has mentioned in the pandemic. It’s voiceover dialogue and a single sentence, but it perked my ears up in the theater.
Am sure in the future a deluge of films will be referencing the virus and/or directly about life during it. We’re living this now, but film will imitate life around us very soon.
Neither of us were fans of Infidel. I disliked it more than Kara, but it wants to be shocking and suspenseful, yet it’s neither. It doesn’t have enough action for a thriller. It’s too much like watching a news story unfold, but we never get that invested in the characters. Instead, we’re on the outside saying, it’s like a bad episode of 24, sans Jack Bauer. I kept wishing Kiefer Sutherland would come into the movie and do something exciting.
No real stars shine here, the story feels like material we’ve seen dozens of times before, even the sound is blase. Pass on this, it’s bad and not recommended.
Rating (out of 5 stars): ⭐️½ (Todd) ⭐️⭐️ (Kara)